Monday, September 15, 2014

Paul's Quilt - Week Four (Completed Top)

This is going to be a short blogpost. For two reasons:
1. A picture is worth a thousand words - I have a few
2. The discussion of excuses/trips/distractions can be lengthy - I have none

Piecing in Process
Completing the quilt top is not the same as finishing it. However, it is a significant landmark at which point you can actually see what the final quilt will look like. And therefore it is moment of a small celebration, unless...
The Wrong Block - Black Strips going clockwise (There are at least 3 of those ones)

...unless you find a mistake. Just kidding - I don't care about the wrong block. That is why I have three of them :-D  Adds a little visual interest. Can you find all three?

Paul works on Sundays. When he came home the quilt top was completed and basted (the backing is flannel). It lay folded on the sewing table.

Paul: How is my quilt coming along?
Preeti (beaming): I finished the quilt top today and I am very proud of it.
Paul: That is amazing.
Preeti: What part - that I am proud or that I finished it.
Paul: You are always proud - that is a moot point. It is amazing that you finished it.
Preeti (with hints of anger): Why is it amazing?
Paul: It is amazing that you finished it in spite of the birthday baby quilt, the weekend trip to meet your quilting buddy and that doggie bag for your guild.

Completed Quilt Top with Borders (bit windy outside).
But totally worth it - the colors just pop and sparkle!!!

Preeti (definitely worked up a bit): Two things.
1. Yes, I have a quilty, busy life. Deal with it.
2. Importantly, it is because of all those interesting things I did that I finished the quilt top. They provided the refreshing break so that I could return to your quilt with fresh energy and enthusiasm.
Since the quilt top is completed, maybe I need another "break"!!!

Blocks - Close up

Paul: Fine. Take another break but just tell me when will I get it.
Preeti: October 7th.
Paul: What is October 7th?
Preeti: It is our anniversary. Can't believe you don't remember.
Paul: I remember.
Preeti: Too late. Besides, I don't have the time to banter with you. I have a quilt to finish.

Loving the rich colors - don't seem so dark now

I will quilt and bind this beast  beauty in the coming two weeks and will return to blogging only once I have finished it. While I am keeping my nose to the grindstone (sewing machine), I will be thinking of a suitable, clever name for it.
I do have one question for you. If I wrote a tutorial for making this quilt, would you be interested in it?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Paul's Quilt - Week Three (Scottie Invasion)

All 48 blocks are completed.  I decided to put together the quilt in two parts.
First Part - Put together the top half of the quilt - 6 blocks by 4. Add the top border
Second Part - Put together the bottom half and add the bottom border.

And then stitch the two halves together and add the side borders. Simple.

I completed the first half and by then it is Friday. I am feeling great. I have the weekend to put together the second half and I am pretty sure if I avoid cooking and ignore the dishes, I can complete the top. If Paul complains about lack  of food or clean dishes - I can say - "But I am working on your quilt, darling." I was set, or so I thought.

And then I made the mistake of checking my email. The email was from the Quilt Guild.
In July, just before the Guild went on a summer recess, they had organized a 2.5" squares swap or the "Ugly Squares Project". Each one of us who participated had to bring about 50 2.5" ugly squares.  At the guild meeting there were about 50 bright colored paper bags. Each participant went around and dropped one square in each bag and at the end of the meeting picked one bag to take home with them. So far, so good.

Ugly Squares

The email said that to be eligible for a win, you had to bring back the completed project using those 2.5" suckers squares. The meeting was on Tuesday (9/9/14) at 7:30PM. NOOOOOOOOOOO...............

I decided to come clean. I told Paul about the ugly squares project and the urgency to complete it over the weekend. He laughed and said that is fine. He would just get Boston Market Meals this week.

Still Ugly...
He gave me a free pass. Gotta love that man!!!

Project Ugly Squares
I had been giving some thought to the 2.5" squares. Then I saw the scottie dog quilt pattern on Eva's blog and my decision was made. I decided that I will make a sewing bag with the Scottie Dog pattern. The pattern used 26 squares and I used the remaining ones to make inside pockets on the lining.

Not Ugly - Kinda cute looking....

I chose a black dotted fabric for the bag back and handles and bright orange fabric for the lining.

Looking Good!!!
The picture above shows the bag front and back quilted; the lining with the pockets; and the quilted handles. Making these took all of Saturday.

I still had to box the corners and put the bag together, making sure the handles were not twisted and that the lining stayed down. The bag was assembled on Sunday morning.

The lining fits, yeah!!!

Boxed Corners - Bag and Lining match :-)

Small Pocket - Three Compartments
Large Pocket

I felt extremely confident taking it to the Guild meeting on Tuesday. It was a contest and I felt that the Scottie Dog would beat everyone else or at least come close to the top.
Oh, those gentle ladies of the guild - they oohed and aaahed over every entry including mine (so clever, they said) and then they put all the names in a box and raffled the top two. My name wasn't announced. Was my weekend work all in vain?

As I left the school building and walked wearily towards my car, I thought if I had I known, that it was "not" a contest, I would have not attempted to do anything with those ugly squares. I would have continued working on Paul's quilt. I am glad I misunderstood because I love my Scottie and I can totally see myself using it. It is large enough to carry the rotating mat and sewing supplies. It is super cute and I put it together in one weekend!!!

Completed Scottie Sewing Bag - Stuffed with two quilt tops and the cutting mat
I think I will keep this one!!!

So, what about Paul's quilt?
Hmmm, I am determined to complete the top this coming weekend. No excuses. I promise.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Paul's Quilt - Week Two (Weekend Trip)

The quilt block measures 10.5". The finished block will be 10". There are 48 blocks - 24 royal blue and 24 navy blue. The quilt layout will be 6 blocks by 8 blocks to yield a quilt of 60" by 80" minus the borders.

I made 24 blocks and squared them too!!! I even stitched together the half-columns (4 blocks out of 8; the quilt is 6 blocks wide by 8 blocks tall). Here is what my design walls looks like.

How long did it take to make the blocks?
Well...Hmmm. After all the fabric had been cut, carefully arranged for chain piecing, the machine oiled and needle changed, iron hot and ready to took about one hour to make 6 blocks. Squaring them up was extra.

So all I need is 8 hours to make the blocks and some more to square them up. Right?

Because this is when I must go on my long weekend trip to Pennsylvania. I was so torn.
Shall I cancel my trip to work on the quilt?
Or take  the trip to meet a new quilting friend?

I chose the trip :-)

In PA I met Sylvia, a quilting buddy from the M* Forum. Sylvia chose the restaurant for our rendezvous - Plaza Azteca. Fine choice, I must say!!!
With Sylvia at Plaza Azteca in Wyomissing, PA

We had a blast talking quilty stuff, sharing our WIPs, exchanging fabrics and even fabric shopping, in spite of being on a fabric diet!!! I diet only when I am in my home state of Virginia. No dieting on vacation :-p

That is my story and I am sticking to it.

Back home and back to Paul's quilt, I continue making and squaring blocks. 24 more to go...